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Fish is severely bloated and sitting at the bottom


notface

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Hi all,

About three months ago my mother noticed that one of her fish had gotten slightly fat on one of it's sides. As time progressed, it slowly became more and more bloated to the point where it became very difficult for it to swim and it would spend all of it's time sitting on the bottom of the tank. A month later it was isolated into it's own tank. At this point it had displayed another symptom where it was struggling to eat. It would actively try to find and swallow pellets/peas but end up having to spit it out afterwards. We had thought that it was suffering from constipation so my mother did not feed anything to it for a while. A week later, it was able to consume food as usual but it remained bloated and mostly motionless.

It has been several months now and the symptoms remain the same. It would sit on the same corner day in day out, only moving when startled or when it's feeding time.

I do not have a test kit at this time so I am unable to provide test results. I will post the test results as soon as I am able to obtain one (which may be in 1 or 2 days time).

* Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running?
- 5.28 Gallons (20 Litres)
- About two months
* What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)?
- Unkown
* How often do you change the water and how much?
- Every week
- 10% water change
* How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change?
- 5 days
- 10% water change
* How many fish in the tank and their size?
- No other fish is in the tank
* What kind of water additives or conditioners?
- Aquarium salt BEFORE it had been isolated
- Currently none
* What do you feed your fish and how often?
- Initially peas, but not anymore as it is unable to eat them when they fall to the bottom
- Now it gets fed "Goldfish Granules" pellets
- Once a day
* Any new fish added to the tank?
- No
* Any medications added to the tank?
- "Melafix" during each water change
* List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment.
- Tried feeding it peas (roughly two months ago)
- Isolated into another tank (roughly two months ago)
- Add Melafix during each water change (roughly two months ago)
* Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus?
- Tail appears a bit damaged but not too sure about this
- Very bloated
* Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.?
- Stays at the bottom of the tank in the same corner everyday.
- Recently has a lot trouble sitting itself upright (would fall over or sit at odd angles).
- It does not move unless startled or when eating.
- Initially it had problems eating (it would attempt to swallow the food but spit it out after a while), however this symptom seems to be gone for now.

Images for reference

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Pictures from one year ago

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I realize that waiting months before finally seeking help is pretty horrific but time constraints haven't really allowed for it. It might be too late to do anything to help, but any advice would still be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Edited by notface
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First off, we need the parameters from your tank and tap to further help you :). And second, 5 gallons is not nearly enough for any goldfish. It's 20 gallons per fancy goldfish and I would say maybe a 40-55 gallon tank for that breed. A mod will be by to help, but we can help you unless we get your parameters. Could you bring a sample of your tank and tap water to the pet store and write down the numbers they give you?

Do you know if the fish is male or female?

Edited by mikeydude319
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hello notface,

welcome to kokos :)

i am sorry that your fish is not doing to well, but i really feel that there may be an internal tumor growing in it's body. goldfish are known to grow tumors, most non cancerous and they tend to protrude through the dermis, scales and surface like a white cauliflower mass on the exterior of their bodies. but, when they are forming on the inside and growing only on the inside, there's not much that can be done. operations are costly and almost impossible to do at home.

your fish does appear to be a female, so the thought of her being egg bound crossed my mind, but i don't ever recall a female to hold this many eggs and for it to be a problem of eggs spanning over the time that you have indicated.

my suggestion is to euthanize, as i feel there is no quality of life that your fish is receiving. i know you are doing everything possible to have her remain comfortable and happy, but, i do feel what we're seeing here is an internal tumor growing and it will continue to grow until the fish begins to suffer organ failure from the lack of space in her body as the tumor increases in size over time.

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Ah, this is quite unfortunate news. Thanks for the insight though, Helen.

I was only able to obtain a pH Tester yesterday, so below are the results. The name of the kit is "VitaPet - Marine Master Professional Series pH Tester". It is drop based.

Tank pH: 6.2 - 6.4

Tap pH: 7.4+

I was really surprised to find how acidic the tank water was! Upon consulting with my mother, she revealed that there wasn't any carbon placed in the filter. Would that have be the reason for it's acidity?

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Ah, this is quite unfortunate news. Thanks for the insight though, Helen.

I was only able to obtain a pH Tester yesterday, so below are the results. The name of the kit is "VitaPet - Marine Master Professional Series pH Tester". It is drop based.

Tank pH: 6.2 - 6.4

Tap pH: 7.4+

I was really surprised to find how acidic the tank water was! Upon consulting with my mother, she revealed that there wasn't any carbon placed in the filter. Would that have be the reason for it's acidity?

No, it would not. Your tank most likely has ammonia in the water which causes the pH to drop. If possible, like I said before, please bring a sample of your tank and tap water to a LFS and have them test your water. When you bring them your water, make sure the water is from the bottom. It will most likely be free, Just make sure you write down the results they give you. Ask for the numbers. (Don't get them mixed up :P)

As Helen stated, I agree with her. Your fish does not look too happy and if she is stuck at the bottom, that is no life for a fish. However, it is all up to you. We can help you, and give you instructions, but it is up to you to follow them; we can't make you do what you don't want to.

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I am so sorry about your fish :(

Lack of carbon would not be the cause for the low pH. Most here do not use carbon in their filters, as it is unnecessary in most cases. What is likely happening is that your water has low buffering capacity - this can be measured by getting a kh/gh test kit or you may even be able to call your water company and find out these numbers. It is good to have an idea of what these numbers are so that you can buffer the tank accordingly.

For now you can add baking soda to your water to raise kh/pH. Please take a look at this article and let us know if you have any questions http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?/topic/110296-stabilizing-your-tank-ph-with-sodium-bicarbonate-baking-soda/

It looks like you have a second fish in another tank? Would you mind sharing water test results for that tank so we can make sure everything is safe?

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Ah, this is quite unfortunate news. Thanks for the insight though, Helen.

I was only able to obtain a pH Tester yesterday, so below are the results. The name of the kit is "VitaPet - Marine Master Professional Series pH Tester". It is drop based.

Tank pH: 6.2 - 6.4

Tap pH: 7.4+

I was really surprised to find how acidic the tank water was! Upon consulting with my mother, she revealed that there wasn't any carbon placed in the filter. Would that have be the reason for it's acidity?

No, it would not. Your tank most likely has ammonia in the water which causes the pH to drop. If possible, like I said before, please bring a sample of your tank and tap water to a LFS and have them test your water. When you bring them your water, make sure the water is from the bottom. It will most likely be free, Just make sure you write down the results they give you. Ask for the numbers. (Don't get them mixed up :P)

As Helen stated, I agree with her. Your fish does not look too happy and if she is stuck at the bottom, that is no life for a fish. However, it is all up to you. We can help you, and give you instructions, but it is up to you to follow them; we can't make you do what you don't want to.

Mikey, ammonia is actually basic (as opposed to acidic), so ammonia alone in the water would not be cause for a pH drop, and could actually increase it.

Either way, it would be good to know your ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH and gh/kh levels for the main tank so that we can make sure the water is safe for your fish

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I should also add that if you choose to let your fish go (and I fully agree with Helen here unfortunately) clove oil mixed with water is the most humane way to euthanize a fish. Clove oil can be bought at health food stores or sometimes pharmacies (it is typically sold as either a dental anesthetic for toothache or aromatherapy oil). The oil act as an anesthesia and will slowly put the fish to sleep without any discomfort to the fish. Just mix several drops of the oil in a small container of tank water and place the fish in it. Wait until you no longer see any gill movement, this can take 15 minutes or so.

I am so sorry you are having to consider this, I know how difficult this decision is.

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Thanks for the input guys. I appreciate it even if there isn't anything that can be done to help her recover.

It looks like you have a second fish in another tank? Would you mind sharing water test results for that tank so we can make sure everything is safe?

Yes there is a second fish in another tank. The pH for that one is around 7.2. I have no idea why there is such a big discrepancy between there two tanks.

There aren't any test kits besides the pH one that I can find my my local area. I might be able find something within the week.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Regular Member

Hi again,

We've decided that it's probably for the best go ahead and euthanize the fish. It's condition has worsened to the point where it's now always lying upside down at the bottom of the tank and unable to eat.

Is this the correct guide to follow?

http://www.kokosgoldfish.com/EuthanizingFish.html

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Hi again,

We've decided that it's probably for the best go ahead and euthanize the fish. It's condition has worsened to the point where it's now always lying upside down at the bottom of the tank and unable to eat.

Is this the correct guide to follow?

http://www.kokosgoldfish.com/EuthanizingFish.html

I'm sorry, it is a very tough decision, but it sounds like the right thing to do.

Yes, clove oil and water is the best way to go.please let us know if you need any help

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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We have gone ahead with the euthanasia. I can only hope that it went out peacefully. I know that I still haven't provided the test results for the other tank, but I will mark this thread as solved as my initial dilemma had been answered. Once I obtain the appropriate test kits I will start another thread to see if the other tank is okay.

Thank you all for the support.

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